Hino to rescue in emergencies
ALONG with the police, fire brigade and ambulance services, rescue organisations provide essential services across a range of emergencies.
Across New South Wales, the Volunteer Rescue Association is active in more than 58 locations across the state providing an essential role.
One of those 58 locations is Deniliquin, in the Riverina, with the Deniliquin VRA having 14 active members on call 24 hours a day.
At the recent Deniliquin Truck Show and Industry Expo, the crew had their rescue truck with its myriad of rescue gear on display.
Deniliquin VRA deputy captain Mark Jeffrey gave a rundown of the 2002 Hino FD rescue truck and how it is put to good use across a wide area.
“We provide a primary rescue service for motor vehicle accidents, along with search and rescue, first aid along with vertical and swiftwater rescue, and the truck is well-set up for the jobs we attend across the greater Riverina area,” he said.
The Hino came to the Deniliquin VRA eight years ago, having previously seen service with the New South Wales Police Force in the Illawarra region, being based with the Police Rescue Squad at Wollongong.
As a result, the truck was fairly well fitted out in terms of bodywork, but the sea air had done some damage, and four years ago the body was refurbished and updated to allow for easy access for equipment and tools, which range from the “jaws of life” equipment through to first air gear, ladders and emergency lighting.
Being a volunteer operation, the VRA was assisted by local company Riverina Allweld, which did the job at cost, with the end result making the truck easier to access and work from during emergency responses.
The arrival of the Hino in 2010 was a timely one, replacing a well-worn Ford F-250 which had seen service for a number of years and had reached its use-by date.
“No brakes, no steering and no power!” Mark said.
“In winter you needed two people to operate it, one to drive it and the other to keep de-fogging the windscreen!”
With Deniliquin bisected by both the Cobb and Riverina highways, unfortunately the VRA has had to attend its share of truck accidents over the years, and in the past the team has undertaken training with Royan’s from Wagga Wagga, both organisations working together to keep their skills sharp and focused when involved in heavy vehicle accident and recovery operations.
The Deniliquin Truck Show and Industry Expo allowed for the team to show off their range of equipment and provide advice to the community, along with providing a first-aid service for visitors to the show.
“We’re wearing two hats today!” said Mark.
An appropriate statement, given the variety of emergencies the VRA turns out to, the team needs to be flexible and pull their rescue gear and (hard) hat on at a moment’s notice, providing an essential service for the community as a whole.
RESCUE TRUCK: Deputy Captain of the Deniliquin VRA, Mark Jeffrey, with the Hino rescue truck.